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Possible career fair scheduled for spring

For Chilton County Schools career coach Wendy Fortner, making sure high school seniors understand their options once they graduate is a major role of her job.

However, the current pandemic has forced some of the typical procedures used to develop this understanding to change.

One of the biggest ones is an absence of field trips normally taken throughout the school year by students in the county’s career tech program.

According to Fortner, some of last year’s trips included tours of the Hyundai manufacturing facility in Montgomery and Professional Paint and Body Inc. in Alabaster.

A common view expressed to Fortner by some in the current senior class is that they feel like they are getting left behind.

The career fair last fall had more than 60 businesses, colleges and military organizations present and about 500 seniors from the county took part.

Having the event in the spring would result in the fair consisting strictly of businesses and military recruiters.

According to Fortner, the absence of educational institutions would be due to most students planning on attending college already having their paperwork in place by that point.

“Most seniors will know where they’re going by then,” Fortner said.

However, for those planning to jump into a career after high school and not go the college route, Fortner wants to make sure they are aware of what is out there.

She believes it is important for those going to college to also know of the opportunities that exist for them in the workforce.

“Only 18% of students in the county go to college and finish,” Fortner said.

She is hoping that the second half of the school year will start to see restrictions continue to be lifted to the point where a career fair can be effectively held.

At the moment, Fortner said a tentative date has been scheduled for a career fair on March 17.

All of the details are still a work in progress with several regulations needing to be adapted.

“I’m hopeful,” Fortner said.